The Houston Rockets are living on cloud nine in the 2013 NBA off-season. Not only were they looking ahead already to their young core developing further in the upcoming season, but they were also able to land the biggest free-agent on the market in star center Dwight Howard. With arguably the best center in the league in town, the Rockets look like contenders.
However, there’s always a drawback when it comes to Howard. Despite the fact that he’s 27 years old and has played nine seasons in the NBA, he’s never really developed the maturity or commitment to the game that a team would want from a player with his talents.
Howard has always been the player seen on the floor with a smile on his face, laughing with opponents and teammates alike. He’s the guy that goes out and does crazy things because he’s young and rich and that makes sense. He’s never been the guy that’s going to relentlessly be in the gym becoming one of the most dominant players in the game, though.
Looking at Howard’s numbers, it seems like it hasn’t affected his game a great deal. After all, Howard has averaged 18.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for his career. However, a player with his athleticism and his size could be putting up 25 points and 15 rebounds per night if he was truly bearing down on his craft.
Now that he’s in Houston, his talents alone will elevate the Rockets to an elite level in the league this season. However, the Rockets are a team that has an NBA Championship on their mind. If they want that to happen, they have to find a way to get Howard fully engaged in basketball. What’s the way to do that? No one really knows the answer to that at this point in Howard’s career, but the Rockets have to pry and search for a way to make it happen.